This toolkit is the result of a team effort over many months. Here are short bios about each of the team members.
Amanda Hodgson is a Research Fellow at Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit. Her research interests involve population assessments through aerial surveys and she has been involved in many surveys in Australia and internationally. She has been adapting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) for surveying marine mammal populations for several years, focusing on dugongs and humpback whales, and has developed methods for using UAVs to assess marine mammal abundance and distribution.
Benjamin Jones is based at Cardiff University (UK) and is an expert in science communication and environmental education. He also has research interests in indicators of seagrass health and fisheries bycatch. His recent field research work has taken him to Myanmar, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Ben is a Founding Director of Project Seagrass, an environmental charity devoted to the conservation of seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research and action.
Chris Cleguer is a Senior Research Officer at James Cook University, Australia. Chris has broad research interests in spatial ecology and conservation of marine mammals, especially dugongs. His research focuses on how to best inform dugong management at various spatial and temporal scales using a range of techniques to monitor individual dugongs and populations. These techniques include manned and unmanned aerial surveys to assess population abundance and trends, GPS-satellite telemetry to investigate dugong movements and habitat use, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to spatially assess threats to dugongs.
Helene Marsh is Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and the Dean of Graduate Research Studies at James Cook University. The focus of her research has been dugong population ecology, and she is internationally recognized as an authority on dugongs, providing scientific advice to governments and NGOs in numerous countries. Helene is a Fellow of the Australian Academies of Science and Technological Sciences and Engineering and has received several international awards for her research.
Josh Donlan leads Advanced Conservation Strategies (ACS) by building interdisciplinary teams to tackle problems in novel ways. He founded ACS in 2006. Trained as a scientist, Josh has worked on environmental and social issues in over a dozen countries, including the management of invasive species, environmental restoration, conservation finance, and incentive-based approaches to environmental conservation. His current interests are focused on discovering where entrepreneurship, design, and human behavioral change can intersect to create and scale new ventures that improve the environment and the lives of people.
Len McKenzie is a seagrass and coastal ecosystems ecologist. His research facilitates the protection, conservation, biological diversity, rehabilitation, management and sustainable development of seagrass resources. Len is a Principal Researcher at James Cook University and Director of Seagrass-Watch, a global seagrass assessment and monitoring program.
Nicolas Pilcher has spent the last 25 years working on marine research and conservation projects throughout the Indo-Pacific, based full-time in Malaysia. His work primarily focuses on reduction of bycatch of endangered marine turtles and dugongs, as well as providing management-related data to improve conservation and management of marine species. He is a member of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group and the IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group.
Richard Unsworth is an academic scientist based at Swansea University (UK) and has over 15 years’ experience researching seagrass meadows around the world. His particular expertise is on how seagrass meadows support fisheries and food security. Richard is a Founding Director of Project Seagrass, an environmental charity devoted to the conservation of seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research and action.
Simon Woodley is an experienced manager, facilitator, and advisor in the fields of marine protected area management and tropical marine scientific research. He has extensive training and capacity building experience in Asian and Indo-Pacific Regions, where he has focused on the management of marine protected areas.
Tara Sayuri Whitty
Tara Whitty is a Fellow and Conservation Assessment Scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. Her interests involve investigating the interface between small-scale fisheries and conservation, based around the concept of stewardship. She is also Founder & Co-Chair of the Artisanal Fisheries Research Network, an interdisciplinary group of students, researchers, and faculty who study small-scale and artisanal fisheries.